Tuesday, May 4, 2010
We've updated our chart tracking the Crew's SHTA and SOGA. The boys are still giving up more SHTA and SOGA than the league average (13.25 vs 10.77 and 4.5 vs 4.37 respectively), and their actual GA compared to their Expected Goals Against remains good (3 GA vs 5 EGA). But as the chart indicates, they're still allowing opponents to create quality chances against them--look at all those chances right inside the box--14 total right in front of the net.
The question, then, is two-fold, is the Crew's strategy to bend and not break and then counter-attack? Or does the team need to address its defensive issues quickly, as they cannot hope to continue to allow this many chances per game over the course of the remainder of the season and not start giving up goals? What if Hesmer goes down and his form drops a few notches? Our hunch right now is that RW needs to look hard at his back line. One solution would be to hold Hejduk back, for example, at least from run after deep run up the wing. A few judicious runs forward? Fine. But using him as a real attacking back? I don't know.
The LM is now a single score normed so that the worst team in the league is now a zero. We hope it makes more sense. And in spite of our misgivings about the Crew, they are still second in our rankings, which is a measure of production per game, not simply overall production. As such, they are still right up there at the top of the league.